TUC laments hardship, tells FG “Our hope not renewed yet’

He urged government to stop its ill-advised devaluation of the national currency, that is precipitating the collapse of local industries which need foreign exchange to import raw materials.

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TUC laments hardship, tells FG "Our hope not renewed yet’The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has lamented the economic hardship workers have been going through since May 2023 and has urged the Federal Government to implement all agreements reached with organised labour in 2023, especially the National Minimum Wage.

Mr Festus Osifo, TUC President, said this in a 2024 new year message jointly signed by Mr Nuhu Toro, Secretary General of the union on Wednesday in Abuja.

The message is titled,”Our hope not renewed yet’

BRANDPOWER reports that Osifo said the TUC had in 2023 strived to ensure that social dialogue with the federal government prevailed, but they have failed to implement simple basic agreements with Labour.

He said that Labour had insisted that the Oct. 2, 2023 agreements between them and the administration be notarised by the court.

“However, government has serially violated the agreements. For instance, Item two states clearly that: “A minimum wage committee shall be inaugurated within one month from the date of this agreement.”

“Today, three months after, no such committee has been set up and this is our experience with this government in at least two previous agreements reached from June.

“TUC has resolved to demand of the Tinubu administration that in 2024, all agreements between labour and government should be implemented.

“This include the payment of the monthly N35,000 Wage Award to Public Servants in the Local Government, State and Federal services.

“These must be implemented until a new National Minimum Wage is implemented,”he said.

Osifo  said that a new National Minimum Wage must be negotiated, implemented, and if further delayed in the year, arrears must be paid.

He noted that Inflation, which was running at 28.20 per cent, must be drastically reduced to the Sub-Saharan African regional average of 9.4 per cent.

The TUC president urged the governments at state and federal levels to stop the unnecessary, economically-unwise and unpatriotic tradition of taking loans.

“This is especially when these loans only end up being used to purchase thousands of expensive jeeps for legislators, pampered members of the Executive and their spouses,among others,”he said.

He urged government to stop its ill-advised devaluation of the national currency, that is precipitating the collapse of local industries which need foreign exchange to import raw materials.

Osifo added that this have led to mega inflation in the import-dependent economy.

The TUC president also called for the stoppage of the sale of the Naira in the streets due to the Central Bank-induced scarcity.

Osifo added that this was possible, provided government ensures adequate supply of Naira notes in the banking system.

He also called for drastic reduction in the price of PMS to repair the damage done to the economy and by ensuring local production of refine products.

Osifo said   that the security of Nigerians should be the yard stick with which to determine whether military, security chiefs and others should remain in office or be replaced.

He urged Tinubu  to sanction officials for serious security breaches such as the December, 2023 massacres in Plateau.

He  said Community Policing should be prioritised alongside the mobilisation of the citizenry to defend themselves against bandits, among others.

“The Year 2024 holds a lot of promise for us all provided Nigerians as a people would unite and assert our authority over all powers.

“These include the Nigerian ruling class manning all branches, levels, institutions and organs of government,”he said.